No. In most situations, turning your thermostat back when you are away from home four hours or more will save you money. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat available at most home improvement stores.
Dual fuel systems can switch between two different fuels or energy sources, typically gas and electricity. The most common type combines an electric heat pump with a gas furnace. The heat pump provides heating during milder weather when it is most efficient, and the gas furnace takes over in colder weather when it is most efficient.
As a rule, fireplaces are not very efficient for heating your home. They pull large amounts of heated air from inside your home up and out of the chimney. If you have a fireplace in your home, consider installing glass doors to help limit the amount of air that gets drawn.
The best setting is the lowest temperature at which your family is comfortable. Most people are comfortable at a setting of 68-70 degrees.
Absolutely not! If your stove/oven is electric, the exposed elements can cause severe burns if they come in contact with your skin. If you have a gas stove/oven, breathing the combustion byproducts can cause severe breathing difficulties or even death. The safest thing to do when your heat isn't working is to keep all doors and windows closed and bundle up until the heat is restored.
Unless your basement ceiling is insulated, there is probably enough heat loss from the upstairs into the basement to keep your pipes from freezing. If your pipes are exposed to cold air leaking in around the perimeter of the basement, you should seal any places where cold air is getting in and insulate the pipes. If you are still concerned about pipes freezing, consider installing electric heat tape directly on the pipes. Electric heat tape is available at most hardware and home improvement stores.
Closing or sealing a small number of heat registers may cut your heating bills some, but with central forced air systems, closing off more than one-third of your registers can create pressure imbalances and make the blower fan work harder, potentially shortening equipment life.
Window air conditioners should either be removed or sealed in winter to prevent cold air from entering the home and warm air escaping. If it is not feasible to remove the units, insulated covers that can be effective in reducing this air leakage are available. Sealing the inside and outside of the units with plastic sheeting can also help.